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Year of the Cake Part Twenty Three: Samples Box

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I have taken it upon myself to provide a few samples tomorrow when I meet Suzi, in order to sweeten her up This means that I have left myself less time to finish the sums and paperwork that I would like, but I have an hour and a half of time tomorrow, and in all honesty I’m feeling pretty awake after a fairly marathon baking session.

I’ve made two kind of chocolate truffle – buttercream centres and rum truffles with the dreaded ‘chocolate flavour’ sprinkles. I know the sprinkles are wrong, but they kind of make the truffle, for me. Possibly should have gone with cocoa dusted but too late now. I made two kinds of brownie – double chocolate chip and boozy, which were flavoured with a Drambuie miniature that I’ve had in the cupboard for just such an occasion. I made two kinds of scone – treacle and raspberry. The raspberry ones were based on those that I made a little while ago but changed about a bit. I used honey instead of agave nectar and ended up needing more flour, and baked at a higher temperature and for slightly longer to make them drier and firmer. I’m just waiting on a mini Victoria sponge to come out of the oven, then I’ll layer it up and get off to bed. By the time I’ve finished writing this I’ll have a photo of the whole lot to share.

It’s pretty hard to scale a recipe down to just make three or four of something instead of a batch of twelve so there has been tinkering along the way, but I think everything looks a success. I haven’t tasted any of them yet, though. I’m most interested in the treacle scones, I haven’t made those before. I know some of you will be asking why I thought that now was the time to try a new recipe. The answer is that I have a whole tin of treacle in the cupboard, it’s really as simple as that. Besides, I’ve been wanting to try making treacle scones, why not now?

OK – taste test time. I’ve tried everything bar the sponge, which is still cooling a bit and might not make it to the sample box, as it went a bit over excited in the oven and spilled everywhere, so don’t know if I can get it to look pretty enough without icing. The rum truffles – well,  there’s certainly no mistaking the main ingredient. They are immensely boozy; I probably shouldn’t have added that extra bit of rum to them, in hindsight. That said, I just had one and really enjoyed it, but they will have to come with a warning. Next: buttercream truffles. As you might imagine, they’re extremely sweet. When it gets to the point where I’ve been baking and tasting all night, I find it hard to distinguish between too sweet and just me being over-exposed to it. I think these walk the borderline. I added a little fleur de sel to the one I was eating, and enjoyed it, but have left it off the ones I’m taking with me because I know it’s not to everyone’s taste. The two brownies are a success in terms of flavour. The chocolate chip recipe never lets me down – it looks perfect, it tastes great, I can’t think of a way to improve on it. Apart from melting chocolate over the top, which I usually do, but I couldn’t bear to cover up the perfect, crisp and cracked top. The boozy brownies have he right amount of booze in them, but are extremely soft in the middle and quite fragile with it. I’m hoping that they’ll set a bit overnight – otherwise I can always mess with the recipe to toughen them up, like marines.

The two scones are good, too. I’m particularly pleased with the raspberry and honey ones. They’re much firmer than last time and with a more pronounced taste. They’re not the sweetest of scones, particularly not when compared to the immodest amounts of sugar being bandied around my kitchen tonight. I say bandied, I’m not really sure if I was bandying or not. I might have been, by accident. I apologise if so. The treacle scones are likewise good – they are very smooth on the outside, which isn’t what I expected but I think is the result of brushing them with milk, even though the recipe didn’t tell me too. The flavour is good, with not too much spice to outweight the treacle but not enough treacle to be bitter. Add some butter and then you’re really talking. They do have an unfortunate tendency to look like the head of the baby Alien. Overall, I’m calling my endeavours a success. Here is a slideshow of photies – look out for what appears to be the Mini Sponge of Heaven – it’s ever so shiny.

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It’s after one in the morning. Gah. Will have to finish off all my sums tomorrow – it’ll be OK, I have time to do it and made a decent start earlier today. Think this is my favourite picture, have a look at that while I slope off to bed, still feeling excited but suspecting that I may have overdone things in my usual way…

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About Rock Salt

Seasoning while rocking out since 1983.

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